Science Daily: Pluto

Why are there different 'flavors' of iron around the Solar System?

New work shows that interactions between iron and nickel under the extreme pressures and temperatures similar to a planetary interior can help scientists understand the period in our Solar System's youth when planets were forming and their cores were created.

Minor planet named Bernard

A minor planet in the Solar System will officially be known as Bernardbowen from today after Australian citizen science project theSkyNet won a competition to name the celestial body.

The heart of a far-off star beats for its planet

For the first time, astronomers have observed a star pulsing in response to its orbiting planet. The star, which goes by the name HAT-P-2, is about 400 light years from Earth and is circled by a gas giant measuring eight times the mass of Jupiter -- one of the most massive exoplanets known today.

NASA's OSIRIS-REx takes its first image of Jupiter

This image was taken at 3:38 a.m. EST on Feb. 9, 2017, when the spacecraft was 75 million miles (120 million kilometers) from Earth and 419 million miles (675 million kilometers) from Jupiter. With an exposure time of two seconds, the image renders Jupiter overexposed, but allows for enhanced detection of stars in the background.

Team makes planet hunting a group effort, finds more than 100 candidates

An international team of astronomers released the largest-ever compilation of exoplanet-detecting observations made using a technique called the radial velocity method. They demonstrated how these observations can be used to hunt for planets by detecting more than 100 potential exoplanets, including one orbiting the fourth-closest star to our own Solar System, which is about 8.1 light years away from Earth.

Kepler, don't give up on the hunt for exomoons

Researchers have demonstrated for the first time that it is possible for a planetary collision to form a moon large enough for Kepler to detect. Scientists conducted a series of around 30 simulations to explore how various factors affect moon creation.

Scientists estimate solar nebula's lifetime

Scientists have estimated the lifetime of the solar nebula -- a key stage during which much of the solar system evolution took shape. This new estimate suggests that the gas giants Jupiter and Saturn must have formed within the first 4 million years of the solar system's formation.

Dwarf star 200 light years away contains life's building blocks

Many scientists believe the Earth was initially dry and that water, carbon and nitrogen -- the building blocks for life -- likely came as a result of collisions with objects that began their lives in the cold outer reaches of our solar system. Today, scientists report discovery of the existence of just such an object -- one that once orbited a neighboring star.

NASA spacecraft prepares to fly to new heights

NASA's Magnetospheric Multiscale mission begins a three-month long journey into a new orbit, taking it twice as far out as it has previously flown, to areas where magnetic reconnection is thought to trigger auroras.

Ancient Earth as a model for studying hazy exoplanets

For astronomers trying to understand which distant planets might have habitable conditions, the role of atmospheric haze has been hazy. To help sort it out, a team of researchers has been looking to Earth - specifically Earth during the Archean era, an epic 1-1/2-billion-year period early in our planet's history.

Planets of red dwarf stars may face oxygen loss in habitable zones

Scientists are expanding the definition of habitable zones (the area around a star where a life-sustaining planet might lurk), taking into account the effect of stellar activity that can threaten exoplanets' atmospheres with oxygen loss.

Mysterious white dwarf pulsar discovered

An exotic binary star system 380 light-years away has been identified as an elusive white dwarf pulsar, the first of its kind ever to be discovered in the universe,

Dwarf planet Ceres may have vanishing ice volcanoes

A recently discovered solitary ice volcano on the dwarf planet Ceres may have some hidden older siblings, say scientists who have tested a likely way such mountains of icy rock -- called cryovolcanoes -- might disappear over millions of years.

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